In the Star Wars prequels, Padmé Amidala wears an insane amount of regal and ornate outfits. In The Phantom Menace alone, she wears at a minimum nine different outfits. For comparison, (if memory serves) Princess Leia wears eight outfits in the entire original trilogy. I have read the canon book Queen's Shadow, which explains the in-universe reason for her having so many clothes, but what was the out of universe reason for making her wear all those clothes?

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    To sell toys to little girls.
    – Valorum
    Jun 26, 2020 at 18:19
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    Queen Amidala is a politician and diplomat. In real life, people like that use(d) their clothes to send subtle signals. Going on a delicate state visit? Wearing something in your host's national colors might win you some hearts. You want to reprimand somebody without saying it out loud? For the next visit, wear something you've worn before, signaling "You're not important enough for a new dress". People tried to "read" from Queen Elizabeth's clothing what she thought about her grandson's spouse. To send signals like that, you need an extensive wardrobe. Jun 26, 2020 at 20:01
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    @AndresF. - They were hugely popular at the time. They sold like hot cakes and were frequently sold out in stores; youtube.com/watch?v=S4gPVjV6l9A
    – Valorum
    Jun 26, 2020 at 21:20
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    Mrs. Howell Syndrome?
    – Nu'Daq
    Jun 27, 2020 at 1:53
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    @HenningKockerbeck: Another example: The Queen prominently wore a broche gifted to her by Michelle Obama when she greeted Donald Trump. Jun 27, 2020 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


This is discussed in the Star Wars Episode I: DVD Costumes Featurette. In short, Padmé's outfits create a feeling of grandeur, sophistication and elegance (as befits someone of her noble station) and are intended to 'wow' the audience.

Trisha Biggar (Costume Designer): When I first started in the film, we were going to have three costumes for the queen. And, as time went on George decided that every time we saw the queen, that she was going to have a different costume.

George Lucas (Writer/Director): Somebody of that stature would automatically be changing her costumes to fit the occasion. She travels, she goes to the senate, she has all these official functions and non-official functions, and each one of those demands a different type of costume.
In the other films I've been involved with, it's always been a very simple wardrobe. This became a very complex, very designed, very fashionable wardrobe.

Rick McCallum (Producer): I think people will be amazed by the costumes. The images are so haunting and so beautiful and I think it's something that they've never seen or witnessed before in any previous Star Wars film

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    Could have been said in a lot fewer words. "She's a princess." But I still like the answer. 😎 Jun 28, 2020 at 1:00

She had a lot less outfits than Princess Diana or Jackie Kennedy for example. People in such positions are often expected to never be seen in the same outfit twice.

  • 9 outfits are not exactly a lot, especially if you count both casual and formal wear. Have you ever raised a teenager? Only in comic books and SF/fantasy movies do people wear the same outfit all the time.
    – Gwyn
    Jul 1, 2020 at 9:06

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